Governor Deval Patrick today joined Congressman John Olver and local elected officials in Leominster to announce the groundbreaking of the first rail improvement project in Massachusetts supported by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The $10.2 million ARRA investment will fund the first stage of the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Improvement Project that will improve speed, service and reliability on this important rail line. The projects, which include an additional $39 million in ARRA funding for double-tracking and $150 million in New Starts funding, will support the installation of new switches and signals as well as two new renovated stations and the reconstruction of existing track on the state's oldest commuter rail line. The installation of a new universal crossover at the Leominster location is part of the early work program of the overall Fitchburg Line program and will enhance both freight and commuter rail operations in the region.
The project will have immediate economic impacts and lay the groundwork for improvements to track capacity and service reliability. When complete, the Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line Improvement Project will provide modernized, state-of-the-art infrastructure allowing 80 mile-per-hour travel speeds along the line, up to 12% better on-time performance and reduced operating and maintenance costs.
The Fitchburg Commuter Rail Line has the oldest infrastructure in the MBTA system. It also is the longest in terms of both distance and travel time and serves a region with limited commuter options. Learn more about the Massachusetts Recovery Plan.